[Photo Credit: Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

If I buy a Chevy Bolt — not lease it — in California and register it in Colorado, what then?

The Chevy Bolt is a nice car — and especially attractive in terms of its 238 miles of range, which will give me a TON more freedom to go where I want than my 2014 Nissan LEAF with 84 miles of EPA-rated range. [Photo Credit: Photo By Christof Demont-Heinrich
blog logoNow that it’s become clear to me that I will not get a great deal on a Chevy Bolt lease here in Colorado, primarily because Colorado is not a CARB/ZEV state and GM therefore has little incentive to lease Bolts at a consumer friendly price in the Rocky Mountain State, I have started to mull over buying a Bolt instead, possibly in California.

My long-term electric car plan  has been to –>

  1. Lease my 2014 LEAF until I could get into an affordable EV with significantly more range than the 84 miles my 24kwh LEAF is rated to.
  2. Lease a second electric car for three years. And this EV must have 200+ miles (sorry Nissan) because I live in a one-car only household AND I want to be able to drive into the Rocky Mountains west of Denver and BACK to Denver without necessarily having to charge. Also, after 3 1/2 years in a car with 70 to 95 miles of range, I’m tired of worrying about whether I’ll have enough charge on days where I have to drive a lot in the Denver-Boulder area, when it’s super cold, etc. (it’s already 45 miles to Boulder, 90 miles round trip, where I often take my kids to visit my brother and his family from where I live in Littleton, Colo.).
  3. After leasing for another three years, then finally BUY an electric car, as I am expecting that in three years there will be affordable 300+ mile electric cars, and 300 miles is definitely enough for me (I’d need less, IF the EV charging infrastructure — outside of Tesla — were sufficient, but sadly it is not, especially not for mid-to-long-distance EV-ing).

So, my original plan was to wait three more years for an affordable 300+ mile EVs to buy.

However, the Chevy Bolt’s 250 miles is almost as good as 300 miles, and it IS good enough for lots of trips Denver to the mountains — which my 2014 LEAF has kept me away from.

So…I am mulling over buying a Bolt, again, perhaps in California, because I believe I could get a much better deal in California than in Colorado.

HOWEVER, before I do that, I kind of need to — ok, I really need to — get correct answers to the following questions –>

  1. Am I allowed to buy a Bolt in California and then register it in Colorado?
  2. If yes, do I get to claim the federal tax credit and the Colorado state tax credit, or just the latter, or neither one?
  3. If I am allowed to buy a Bolt California, register it in Colorado, AND claim both the federal and state tax credit, does that mean dealers in California would have little to any real incentive to sell a Bolt to me at a great price?
  4. I guess what I really mean in No. 3 is –> Can a California dealer sell a Bolt that gets registered out of state and whose owner claims both the Fed and out-of-state tax credit, and STILL have the Bolt sale “count” toward GM’s CARB/ZEV numbers?

Seems to me that if GM cannot count a Bolt sold to an out-of-state buyer in California toward its CARB/ZEV credits, I would not get any kind of deal on a Bolt in California, and it would be a waste of my time, and the dealer’s, for me to start looking for a purchase (not lease) deal in California.

Does anyone know the correct answers to the questions above — especially to No. 4, if California Chevy dealers have any real incentive to offer great Bolt deals to out-of-state buyers?